While all the trade talk for the New York Mets has primarily focused on Daniel Murphy, another second basemen may be able to bring back some value in a swap. Wilmer Flores has been viewed as the second baseman of the future for the New York Mets, but he’s stuck behind Murphy, the 2014 All-Star. General manager Sandy Alderson recently stated that the Mets have not been engaged in trade talks for Murphy, so why not see what you can get for Flores?
Flores has had a couple of cups of coffee in the major leagues between 2013 and 2014, but he’s yet to show he can hit major league pitching. Last year, he suffered an ankle injury almost immediately after his promotion, and never really got into a rhythm. He hit .211/.248/.295. This year, he was brought up in May to scare shortstop Ruben Tejada, and the tactic worked. Unfortunately for Flores, his playing time diminished, and he ended up with a slash line similar to last year’s: .225/.253/.300.
He’s back in Las Vegas, where he’s raked for the Triple-A 51s. He’s hitting .325/.368/.592 with 12 home runs in 191 at bats. Most baseball people agree that he’s going to hit in the major leagues sooner or later. The only questions are when that will be, and at what position. He has the kind of upside that other organizations should find appealing. He could even be a centerpiece (along with a top pitching prospect) in a package for a shortstop like Troy Tulowitzki. Dare to dream.
If Flores were to depart, the Mets would still have plenty of depth at second base in their farm system. Dilson Herrera, acquired as part of the Marlon Byrd deal last year, has been raking all year, and is currently hitting .333/.398/.505 at Double-A Binghamton, following a promotion from High-A St.Lucie. Also in Vegas, Matt Reynolds has been hitting all year, and is currently playing shortstop, though one could see him as a second baseman eventually. Lower in the ranks is Lee Mazzilli‘s son, LJ, who has looked impressive so far playing at the keystone position.
If there’s no room for Flores on the major league roster, the Mets should use him to bring back someone who will fit in better, like a shortstop or left fielder. Of course, it takes two to tango, and it will be interesting to see how much interest Flores gets from the rest of the league before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.